Are you heading to Arizona? If so you must visit the best hidden gem! There are so many things to do in Page Arizona that you will need to plan a few days.
If you are like most people, you probably have no clue what or where Page, AZ is. As I recount our recent road trip through Arizona and Utah all I see are blank stares when I get to our time in Page. Turns out most people have never heard of this adorable little town in Northern Arizona. It’s not too surprising considering Page is a small town (Pop. less than 8,000) sitting on the edge of Navajo Nation and Lake Powell a few miles from the border of Utah. The few travelers who have heard of it, know it as only the place they drive through on their way to/from the Grand Canyon and/or as quick stop over point to view Horseshoe Bend.
I am here to tell you that you are missing out. There is so much on offer in Page, AZ that visitors really should, no scratch that, need to give it a bit more time. This was one of our favorite stops on our road trip through some incredibly beautiful states.
Without further ado, our top 7 things to do in Page, Arizona (with or without kids).
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
10 Spectacular Things To Do in Page Arizona
1. Go Down Under at Antelope Canyon (Lower and Upper)
Visiting Antelope Canyon is the top thing to do in Page Arizona. These spectacular underground marvels on Navajo Land is what lures the visitors even for just a day trip and is a MUST do. Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon formed by the erosion of the soft Navajo sandstone. During the rainy season, rainwater runs into the canyons picking up speed and sand, re-shaping and smoothing the narrow passageways into the curving artistic stones you see today. It is absolutely surreal to be surrounded by curving walls, made entirely by natural processes.
Antelope Canyon is divided into Lower Antelope Canyon and Upper Antelope Canyon. The main difference between the canyons is the ease of getting in/out. Upper Antelope Canyon, the most visited, is at ground level and does not require any climbing.
Lower Antelope Canyon requires a certain level of mobility as you are required to descend into the canyon on very steep stairs/ladders and move between the levels of canyons on various types of steps.
For adventurous families, the Lower Canyon provides a great obstacle course for your little ones (4 and up). Our kids enjoyed the circle formations of the rocks and running their hands and feet through the sandy floor, but they LOVED the adventure and challenge of climbing up and down steep staircases!
The canyons are very busy in the summer. If you know when you will be in town, book your tour as early as possible to ensure you get a time slot during the best light of the day. During the summer, the best time of day to book for ideal photos is between 11-2.
Don’t worry if you didn’t book in advance, there seems to always be space for small parties in the morning and afternoon tours. For the Lower Canyon, we recommend Ken’s Tours and Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours for the Upper Canyon. Be warned, during the busy summer season, the canyons are jam packed with people, which does take away from the meditative quality of the experience, but not the awe and wonderment.
2. Stand on the Edge at Horseshoe Bend
The next best thing to do in Page Arizona for most visitors is a trip to Horseshoe Bend. If you are one of the few who know of Page because of Horseshoe Bend, you will have seen the amazing photos of this red rock scene. If you aren’t, Horseshoe Bend is exactly that, a horseshoe meander of the Colorado River. Standing high on the cliffs above the river, you get a great view of the bend…way way down below!
See if you can spot a tent on the bank of the river or boat tours on the water – they are the size of an ant. Seriously. However, if you visit during the day you will likely see plenty of blue boats dotting the river below.
Visiting Horseshoe Bend can be a bit scary to be honest (with or without children). There are no guard rails, just a very steep drop off from a very high cliff. And of course to get the perfect photo, you have to stand right on the edge with your wide angle lens. I jokingly (kind of?!) said I was going to tie my son up to a pole if he went with us. Unfortunately, there were no poles, so he didn’t go with us.
If you are nervous about how your little ones will act, it might be best to take turns taking in the view as adults only. Kids will enjoy playing further back on the trail in the sand or looking for wild animals. We saw lizards and rabbits during our early morning visit.
Sunset and late afternoon are the busiest times, but also the most beautiful times to take photos. The viewpoint is a short 15 minute walk up a sandy rolling hill. If you visit during the summer, expect high temperatures. There is no shade, water or bathroom facilities, so plan in advance.
3. Get Chilly (in 110°F) on the Colorado River
The 3rd best thing to do in Page Arizona is to get out on the chilly Colorado River. Being out on the water is a true highlight and a unique way to see the Glen Canyon Dam and Horseshoe Bend. There are an abundance of water sports and tours for both Lake Powell and the Colorado River. Tours range from 1.5 hours on the lake to half day or full day rafting excursions on the Colorado River including opportunities to get out and hike to Rainbow Bridge National Monument.
A great option with kids is the half day rafting adventure which starts with a drive through a pitch black 2 mile tunnel. Here you will cruise towards Horseshoe Bend to see ancient petroglyphs, spot wildlife and stop for a break to dip your toes (feet and body if you are brave) in year round 47°F ice cold water.
4. Hike to Hanging Garden
If you are getting restless legs from the lack of hiking, there is a pretty cool short hike that is rated as one of the best things to do in Page Arizona. Most evenings in the summer (until end of Sept) a ranger from Glen Canyon Recreation Area hosts a guided hike to the Hanging Garden. It is a short 1 mile round trip easy walk.
This short hike leads you to a lush hanging garden on the underbelly of Navajo sandstone cliffs overlooking the Colorado River and Lake Powell. The trail is lined by rocks on either side to guide you almost the entire way to the hanging garden. A small rock scramble might be required to get up close to the hanging garden depending on how you approach the cliff. This hike offers a surprising view into the astonishingly uniqueness of the desert. While walking, take your time and notice the desert around you. Check out the lizard trails, search for moqui marbles (smooth, round balls of compacted sandstone encased in a “shell” of iron compounds), snake skeletons and a variety of small wildlife.
Turn off is one quarter mile (.4km) east of Glen Canyon Bridge (the opposite side from Carl Hayden Visitor Center) on Hwy 89. Parking is available at the trailhead is off of Hwy 89. Look for a small white sign off the highway advertising the guided hike.
5. Explore Glen Canyon Dam
One of the many skipped tourist attractions here in Page is the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Sitting atop the Glen Canyon Dam with expansive views over the dam below and interesting interactive displays inside, the Carl Hayden Visitor Center is a beautiful place to start your explorations. Spend time to explore the visitor center and speak with the staff about what options you have for getting the most out of your visit to the area.
For a hands on look at the dam that is operated here, sign up for the 45 min tours occurring several times a day. Tours are only $5 and well worth the time. You will walk across the dam wall and venture into the factory below.
If you have kids with you, don’t forget to pick up your Junior Park Ranger booklet for the opportunity to get two badges – one for Glen Canyon and one for Rainbow Bridge (even if you didn’t visit it). The Carl Hayden Visitor Center is a great mid-day activity during the sweltering summer months. In the summer months (until end of Sept), rangers are on hand at the center with fun activities for children between 2-4pm daily.
6. Discover Dinosaurs at the Dinosaur Project
Technically this is not in Page or even in Arizona. However if you or your family loves dinosaurs it is a must visit while in Page Arizona. Located about 15 miles away from Page, across the border in Utah, the Big Water Visitor Center for Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument is another great activity for the middle of the day when it’s super hot (or on your way to/from Zion National Park or Kanab).
The Dinosaur project at the center provides a fun outing for kids (and adults) to learn more about dinosaur fossils found in the area. Grand Staircase-Escalante does not have a Junior Ranger badge program. Instead kids can earn a Junior Scientist badge which is large, gold and according to our kids pretty awesome.
If heat is not a factor during your visit, there are a few hikes you can start from the center that lead to fossils still in the ground. Ask the rangers inside the center for more information on how to find these.
7. Explore Lake Powell
If you are in Page, you cannot miss exploring Lake Powell. How you do this is entirely up to you, but we highly recommend booking a day kayaking with Lake Powell Adventure Company. Their 4 hour Antelope Canyon kayak tour is an amazing experience that welcomes all skill levels. Your arms may be tired by the end of the day, but your mind will feel totally refreshed.
Lake Powell is one of the largest human made reservoir in the country allowing for plenty of incredible scenery waiting to be explored. If kayaking isn’t your thing, you can also explore by speed boat or even consider staying on a houseboat to explore Lake Powell at your own pace.
While at Lake Powell, take time to visit the John Wesley Powell Museum to learn more about his voyage down the Colorado River.
8. Rainbow Bridge National Monument
If you are a national park buff like we are, you can’t miss the opportunity to see every national park site in the vicinity. Not known to many visitors is the spectacular Rainbow Bridge National Monument. As you know, not all beautiful places are easy to get to. To reach Rainbow Bridge National Monument, you would need to hike up to 30 miles! Obviously this isn’t for everyone.
You are in luck – there is another way to get to the monument without hiking such a long distance. You can take a boat tour! The boat tour will take much of your day, so you will need to plan this into your itinerary in advance. You will go over 50 miles to get to the base of the rainbow bridge. For most boat tours, you will get off the boat, hike around 1 mile to get right underneath to ooh and ahh. Remember if you love national parks and collect the badges to pick up your booklet before you depart.
9. The Best Thing to Do in Page AZ: Sunset at Studhorse Point
In addition to the items listed above, there are even more things to do in the area that we didn’t get to experience. One of these is sunset at Studhorse Point. I give this one to you as a bonus with the hopes that you will check it out and report back to me!
A few miles from Page is one of the most extraordinary places, Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. Unfortunately most visitors don’t get to see this area as the main sight is available only by (very) limited permit. It’s called The Wave and I am sure you have seen photos of it. For those of us not lucky enough to get a permit, a quick view into some of the amazingness of this area can be seen at sunset at Studhorse Point.
The hoodos of Studhorse point are easily accessible even though they sit a bit below the rim of the cliff. To get here, you will need to go on an adventure. If there has been rain recently, check in with the visitor center at Glen Canyon Dam for more information on the road quality. Click here for a map. The turn off is 0.7 miles east of Greenehaven Drive off Highway 89. Follow the map closely as there are many small roads in the area. If you make it (or have been), let me know how it is.
10. Waterhole Canyon – Page’s Hidden Gem
One of our recent finds during a return visit turned out to be one of the best things to do in Page AZ if you want to escape the crowds, support local businesses and see spectacular beauty. Waterhole Canyon is well off the beaten path, which means you will have time to get some beautiful photos of a gorgeous slot canyon.
As is true with Antelope Canyon, Waterhole also has a mandatory tour guide policy. However since it’s not as well known as Antelope Canyon, you should have no trouble getting a reservation, or finding the time to spend in this beautiful place.
This slot canyon is great because you get the best of both worlds – open, shallow canyon scenes as well as the more quintessential slot canyon with narrow walls reaching high up into the sky.
Where to Stay in Page Arizona
There aren’t a ton of places to stay in Page which is probably why most visitors just pass through. However, we highly recommend making the time to stay for a few days as there is so much to see and do here to make it worth your time.
During our visit, we booked an amazing house with a pool (see photo above) to keep cool during the hot summer days. Unfortunately it no longer is available, but there are a ton of great options around Page. I have also listed the top hotel and resort options below.
- Lake Powell Resort has great views of the lake and ample opportunities to explore this area at ease. But, the actual room we stayed at, did need some updating. Check Prices and Availability Now
- Country Inn & Suites by Radisson is located actually within the city limits of Page offering a convenient location to check everything off on our to do list above. >Check Prices and Availability Now
We also highly recommend checking out all the amazing options on the map below. There are a variety of hotels and guest houses from luxury to budget to suit all needs.
Whatever you choose, take the time to explore this beautiful corner of Arizona.
Want to check all of this out, but don’t have much time? Check out this amazing 3 day tour that takes in Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
WHAT TIME IS IT?
With Page, Arizona only a few miles away from the border of Utah and sitting so close to Navajo Nation, your phone (nor you) will ever have any idea what time it really is! Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings time, however both Utah and Navajo Nation do, which can make it very confusing when your mobile phone bounces between satellites.
Where to Eat in Page, Arizona
Whether you are just passing through or spending some time in Page Arizona, you will need to nourish your belly with some amazing food. Below are some of our top picks on where to eat while you are in town.
Eat & Watch a Live Show at Into the Grand
Into the Grand is a multi-cultural venue serving dinner (and dessert) as well as showcasing a traditional form of Native American dance. The Navajo performers entertain and educate guests on Navajo people and culture. Into the Grand is a family run establishment with the owners taking time to answer your questions and make sure you have a great time. Enjoy a night out riveted by Navajo dance while munching on delicious traditional food.
Big John’s Texas BBQ
If you know me, you know I am from Texas and can never resist some home flavours. Big John’s Texas BBQ offers up authentic Texas sized portions and Texas sized tastes. From its beginnings as a pop up tent to a trailer, they now have their very own brick and mortar shop. If you are new to Texas BBQ, check out the brisket. It’s not something we often find in Southern California. Boulevard in Page, Arizona.
Ranch House Grill
A local staple for breakfast and lunch, Ranch House Grill will fill your belly with all the goodness of the Southwest. Family owned, located downtown, Ranch House serves comfort food with locally sourced ingredients when possible. A great place to pop in when you need something easy.
Fiesta Mexicana Restaurant
Again, if you know me, you know that I *must* have my Tex-Mex whenever I go anywhere! On the perpetual hunt for queso and great cheesy enchiladas, we found our way to Fiesta Mexicana Restaurant. For a Tex-Mex starved Southern California resident, this hit the spot. Try the fajitas as well – the kids loved them!
Other Things to do NEAR Page, AZ
As I mentioned at the start of this post, many people visit Page on their way to or from the Grand Canyon. This isn’t the only amazing place to visit in Arizona or even nearby Utah. Below are some of our other favorite places to visit and things to do that you might want to check out.
One of the things left on our to do list for the area is to visit the Toadstools trail. This is technically in Utah, but is only 30 minutes away from Page and somewhat on the way to Zion if that is your next destination. The trail is only about 1.8 miles long, but it takes you through a fascinating landscape where the rocks have formed in different layers across thousands of years. The toadstools (hoodoos) have formed as the softer rock below eroded more quickly than the harder rock above.
Below are more places you might want to explore while in the area.
If you are headed to Page, let us know what the top things to do where during your visit! What did you love the most!
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